Scott Rovak-US PRESSWIRE
Wandering through the articles on Turf Show Times today, I was struck by how incredible this site has become. From Ryan Van Bibber - the fearless and written word blessed founder of the site - to the newest members of the writing staff, I can't help but be in awe. While mainstream media has turned its collective head from the St. Louis Rams, this site has thrived. Why?
When fans want to read about their favorite teams, they search for a place that will give them not only up to the minute news, but insights into every facet of their team. Turf Show Times started out with few members in 2006. If you search back through the archives, you''ll find game day threads from that time with comment numbers you could count on one hand. Undaunted, Ryan Van Bibber began to write...and write and write. In word volumes that would stagger the New York Times, he drove readership up through his creative mind and sheer force of will.
The staff began to grow, with writers coming and going. Joe McAtee (co-site manager) became a strong contributor, along with current editors Pete Dunbar and Eric Nagle. Young guns with a passion for the written word, let alone the Rams, began to emerge from the ranks of the fan posts. Brandon Birkhead, Tevin Broner and Josh Wehrle have become mainstays on the front page with both youthful insights, and keen analytic-s.
Ryan isn't one to settle into a "that'll do" attitude when it comes to his Turf Show Times baby. Over the past two years, he's added 12 more writers to the staff, and the amount of content for a one time simple Rams blog began to explode in both quality and volume. I have no idea which of SBNation's sites leads the way in articles posted per day, but Turf Show Times has got to be at or near the top of the list.
For those that don't know Ryan, I'll let you in on a little secret. He's one of the most prolific writers you will ever find, anywhere. His article numbers stagger me, let alone his incredible eye for both detail and the newest breaking Rams news.
I'd like to take this moment to recognize Turf Show Times Most Valuable Player - Ryan Van Bibber. I know he'd be a little mifted if I didn't mention every one of his staff members that he's brought in and their contributions to the site.
Joe (3k) McAtee - His football knowledge is second to none. He not only knows pretty much everything there is to know about the Rams, but he's also a college football fanatic. His NFL Draft observations have made TST one of the premier stops for readers looking for the latest college football prospects.
Eric (Google make me all warm and fuzzy) Nagel - He's been a Turf Show Times cornerstone for years. When I inadvertently stole his "Quick Five" regular post to make my own, he didn't say a word. Classy young man that he is, I have an enormous amount of respect for his writing skill, and inability to get the bombs he keeps mailing me to work. Seriously though, he's the London Fletcher of this writing staff without the age. Never leave Eric!
Pete (VTRamsfan) Dunbar - Video guru, and ace writer, Pete has stayed with TST while his business life continues to grab more of his time. While he doesn't write as much as he used to, he's as constant as the Northern Star on game day. You'll see him every Sunday splashing his way through the game day comment threads offering his observations. Pete's the guy I go to when I have a problem with anything that has to do with visuals or artwork, and he never fails to deliver.
Brandon Birkhead - Formerly known by Rams fans as "BrickTop", this Illinois football fan has grown as a writer before my eyes. He's still a student, and somehow finds the time to write for TST between college parties and classes. Brandon, you are one talented young man, and your future is bright.
Tevin Broner - This student/writer may be the most passionate of any here other than Ryan. It seems like every time I open the editing queue, there's a article by Tevin. He's growing as a writer, and I can't wait to see what he comes up with in his first novel.
Josh Wehrle - Very, very talented young man here. Seriously, he's another one of the staff members who can write across the broad spectrum of subjects on TST and excel. His Mock Drafts are some of my favorite articles here on Turf Show Times.
2012 saw a big expansion of the staff here at Turf Show Times. As the readership grew, Ryan drove to increase both content and viewpoints. He dove into the fan post ranks and from the outside to expand the staff.
Eddie (I love L.A.) P. - If there's anyone who writes close to Ryan's style, it's Eddie. His grasp of details in limited formats is beyond impressive. A talented writer who's still in college, he's become a strong contributor.
Brandon (DCRamFan) Bate - This 2012 addition to the staff has been a solid ace. While his wife more than likely writes most of his articles, and forces him to wear a RGIII jersey, if I were to pick the Turf Show Times Rookie of the Year, it would be
DC, er, I mean Brandon. Strong story lines and a penchant for humor, his articles and Random Ramsdom-s are some of the best here. I count him as a very good friend of mine too.
Joe (papapegasus) Stanfill - His writing caught my eye in the fan post section. His ability to dissect players has made him an invaluable part of the staff. An active member of the military, he has our thanks for the job he does here at TST and for our country.
Rick (All In!) Siegel - Our newly married staff member is also our resident Sports Book line expert. His articles feature a great voice, and stellar observations. We'll see more of Rick once he gets used to "Honey-Do" lists.
Joe (Baccamazzi) Mazzi - Joe's a Sports Journalism major at the University of Indiana, PA. Talent laden in both writing and video, Joe started with TST in 2012. He's a solid writer through and through. Get ready for some amazing articles as the NFL Draft approaches.
Mike Dietrich - The Turf Show Times resident Fantasy Football guru, he's recovering from Hurricane Sandy up in New jersey. Known for his parsing of players through the fantasy football season, he writes some of the toughest article. Trying to glean which player will score FF points is no easy task.
Next up are the newest members of the Turf Show Times staff.
Daniel Doelling - He's our newest editor in charge of Social Media. A Twitter machine, he works the ethereal 140 character world with abandon. You can expect some exciting things from Daniel in 2013.
Tyler Bishop - His play breakdowns are some of the best you'll see. His strong writing and eye for detail are a great addition to the staff.
D. Hawkins - Another strong addition to the staff. Look for more of his stellar articles as we travel that lonely and quiet road until the NFL Draft.
Glyndwr1971 - The newest member of the writing staff, I can't wait to see how he evolves.
Last, but not least, the Moderators for Turf Show Times.
Sergey (Where did I leave my car?) 606 - A long time TST member, he's the comment thread hammer. A student on his way to a career in Geology, Sergey's love of the Rams - and my word counts - is unyielding.
Coach Connor - He is a loooooong time TSTer we don't get to see all that much. Coach is a very knowledgeable football guy, so when he pops in, don't hesitate to ask him questions in the comment threads.
There you have it. The reason why TST has become your favorite place for all things St. Louis Rams. I wish I could mention all the fantastic Fan Post contributors who contribute way more than they'll ever know into making TST the best Rams news and fan site in the world. From the very bottom of my heart, thank you all for a great year here at TST, and here's to an even better 2013.